National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch told the Conservative Political Action Conference audience that the "legacy media" enjoys mass shootings because they "love the ratings."
"Many in legacy media love mass shootings," Loesch told the crowd, which erupted into applause after her speech. "I'm not saying you love the tragedy, but you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold."
"And notice I said 'crying white mothers' because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don't see town halls for them, do you?" Loesch continued, reports CNN. "Where's the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where's the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?"
Loesch also criticized the FBI, saying it "dropped the ball eight separate times with catastrophic consequences," referencing the FBI getting multiple tips about Parkland, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz before the Feb. 14 shooting.
"A failure of law enforcement is not a failure of the law, it is a failure of enforcement," Loesch said, reports the HuffPost. "We have resources available at anyone's disposal if they want to reinforce their schools, but I'll say it again loud and clear: We're parents too."
Loesch's speech came just hours after she represented the NRA at a Florida town hall broadcast on CNN Wednesday. She claimed in her CPAC speech that she needed private security to help her leave because "there were people rushing the stage and screaming 'burn her.'"
"You heard that town hall last night, they cheered the confiscation of firearms," Loesch said. "And it was over 5,000 people. I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn't have been able to exit that if I did not have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming burn her. And I came there to talk solutions."
CNN responded, telling Deadline, "Security was a top priority for us on behalf of all our participants at last night's town hall. Our own security personnel accompanied Ms. Loesch from the stage, alongside her own private security, as we did for all of our guests."
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre also accused "opportunists" of exploiting the Parkland tragedy. "We must immediately harden our schools, LaPierre argued, saying that banks, jewellery stores, movie stars and politicians are "all more protected than our children."
The speech at CPAC was LaPierre's first public remarks since the shooting on Feb. 14, where 14 students and three teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"They hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment. They hate individual freedom," LaPierre said of the NRA's critics. "To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun."
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